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Summary

At the recent Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2018 conference, Shashi Seth, senior vice president of Oracle Marketing Cloud, said that today's complex engagement environment is forcing enterprises to hold CMOs accountable for revenue targets for their teams for the first time. That means they're responsible for acquiring customers, decreasing churn, and increasing lifetime value. The stakes for marketers and customer experience leaders are high; therefore, they must lay the foundation in preparation for this shift in business goals.

Essentials for marketing's new data-driven ecosystem

Over the past 10 years, enterprises have seen a sea change in ad tech and marketing engagement. Rather than focus solely on the creative aspects of marketing and advertising, they've been forced to adopt a data-driven approach. Their former creative-driven responsibilities have taken a back seat to today's emerging roles of technologists and data analysts. They have become part of an enterprise-wide data-driven ecosystem where all customer-facing employees are responsible not only for the overall customer experience, but also for every individual customer interaction.

To be able to adapt to this changing landscape, marketers need agility to rapidly innovate, as well as the unencumbered ability to respond at key moments in the customer journey. They must ensure that every interaction with customers is relevant, proactive, and timed at the right moment in their journeys. That requires a clear understanding of their customers' steps along their pathways so that they understand not only their end actions, but also the journeys themselves. Ultimately, they must make decisions that lead to greater engagement, loyalty, and revenue.

That requires marketing and CX teams to adapt in a few ways. First, they need to reorganize around the customer, breaking down internal walls that impede the holistic flow of information. Enterprises that reorganize, rearchitect, and possibly merge digital and traditional teams working toward blended sales goals will better align to a single overarching customer strategy and experience greater drive and momentum toward the newly architected customer-focused goals. In turn, they should experience faster customer responses, increased sales, and greater loyalty. Essentially, they'll be working in unison toward common goals rather than competing for business.

They also need access to digital intelligence. That requires the deployment of the tools and solutions that will connect the dots along the customer journey, create unified customer profiles, provide predictive analytics to enable proactive and relevant customer interactions, and unify the data internally across all customer-facing business units.

Holding marketing accountable for revenue and customer loyalty is a positive step toward enabling cohesive omnichannel engagement, and it will help underscore the importance of marketing's role in facilitating sales – an often underfunded and underappreciated function in many enterprises. While the shift is necessary, enterprises can't place these new demands on marketers and customer experience leaders without equipping them with actionable insights and removing the impediments, both internally and externally, that prevent them from intelligently responding at key moments along customers' paths to purchase and post-purchase.

Putting customer intelligence in the hands of marketers will allow them to examine the data in real time through visual interfaces and respond at critical moments throughout the customer journey. Bringing data down through the enterprise via visual interfaces enables the sharing of actionable insights that address mission-critical business imperatives. Marketers will then be assured they're engaging in the right conversations at the right moments and can more readily and easily prove their team's role in producing new revenue targets.

Appendix

Further reading

"Oracle positions data as the fabric of modern CX," INT001-000051 (April 2018)

Author

Mila D'Antonio, Principal Analyst, Customer Engagement

mila.dantonio@ovum.com

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